Tag Archives | Gay Rights

Last “Pink Triangle” Holocaust Survivor Dies At 98

Rudolf BrazdaReports Agence France-Presse via the Raw Story:

Rudolf Brazda, last known survivor of the so-called “Pink Triangles” — gays interned in Nazi camps because of their homosexuality — died in France Wednesday aged 98, officials said. “Rudolf passed on peacefully in his sleep at dawn on August 3″ at an old people’s hospital in Bantzenheim, eastern France, said Philippe Couillet, a friend and associate of the deceased.

Brazda, born in 1913, was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942 and reamined there until it was liberated by US troops in 1945. After the war he moved to Alsace, the eastern French region that borders Germany, and lived there until his death. He was awarded France’s Legion of Honour in April this year.

Tens of thousands of people were convicted under Nazi Germany’s laws that made homosexual acts a crime. Those who were sent to concentration camps had to wear a pink triangle on their prison clothes that identified them as homosexual.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Pentagon to Lift U.S. Military’s Gay Ban

Don't Ask, Don't TellViola Gienger reports on Bloomberg:

Top Pentagon officials will announce tomorrow their decision to certify lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, two defense officials said.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are ready to certify that the armed forces are fully prepared for the change and that it won’t harm military readiness, said the officials who weren’t authorized to discuss the decision before the announcement.

President Barack Obama signed legislation into law in December that would repeal the prohibition, called “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” 60 days after the Defense Department drafts a plan for putting the new regulations in place and Obama and Pentagon officials certify that the shift wouldn’t harm recruitment, retention or readiness.

Obama is scheduled to meet with Panetta and Mullen tomorrow afternoon.

Continue Reading

President Obama Endorses ‘Respect For Marriage’ Act

President_Obama_addresses_the_nation_on_the_military_efforts_in_Libya,_March_28,_2011It’s not often that the White House endorses a bill before it goes through the Senate or House, but President Obama did just that when he endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act today. With same-sex marraiges becoming legal in more and more states, this bill is a step towards equal taxation and social security survivor benefits, since there are “more than 1,000 federal rights and responsibilities gays and lesbians do not have access to because of DOMA.” From Joe Mirabella at Change.org:

Today President Obama endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would strike down DOMA and give legally married gays and lesbians the same federal rights and responsibilities as married straight couples.

Shin Inouye, a spokesperson for the White House, told Change.org, “The President has long called for a legislative repeal of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” which continues to have a real impact on the lives of real people – our families, friends and neighbors,” Inouye said.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

CA Legislature Passes Bill To Teach LGBT History In Schools

Maria_EfremenkovaThey say history is written by the winners, who will be writing the LGBT history curriculum? Via Reuters:

A bill to require California public schools to teach the historical accomplishments of gay men and lesbians passed the state Legislature on Tuesday in what supporters call a first for the nation.

Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has not said publicly whether he supports the bill, which he has 12 days to sign or veto once it reaches his desk later this month. If he takes no action, the measure would become law automatically.

The bill gained final passage from the state Assembly on a vote of 49-25, without a single Republican supporting it. The measure cleared the state Senate in April.

California already requires public schools to teach the contributions made to society by women and by racial and ethnic groups that were historically discriminated against, such as blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.

Continue Reading

Most Americans Now Favor Gay Marriage

Polling organization Gallup reports:

For the first time in Gallup’s tracking of the issue, a majority of Americans (53%) believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages. The increase since last year came exclusively among political independents and Democrats. Republicans’ views did not change.

[caption id="attachment_54274" align="alignnone" width="568" caption="Source: Gallup"]Source: Gallup[/caption]

These results are based on Gallup’s May 5-8 Values and Beliefs poll, which has tracked attitudes toward legalizing same-sex marriage each year since 2004…

Continue Reading

iPhone App To ‘Cure’ Homosexuality

Straight_And_Supportive_FlagNo longer want to be gay in the 21st century? There’s an app for that. While it’s hard to believe that anyone would buy this to be used seriously, it’s encouraging to see how many people were so quick to demand it’s removal. Over 90,000 people have already signed a petition against it. The Atlantic reports:

Gay rights activists are outaged — and rightfully so. More than 90,000 people have signed a petition hosted on Change.org demanding that Apple remove an application from the iTunes Store that promises to deliver “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Developed by Exodus International, an Orlando, Florida-based Christian organization, the application claims to be “a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.” But Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit organization that defends the LGBT community against anti-gay misinformation campaigns, finds the app offensive at best. “Exodus’ message is hateful and bigoted,” the petition states.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

UK To Bring ‘Gay Lessons’ To Classrooms To Promote LGBT History Month

Photo: Blackcatuk (CC)

Photo: Blackcatuk (CC)

The Telegraph reports:

Children are to be taught about homosexuality in maths, geography and science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to “celebrate the gay community”.

Lesson plans have been drawn up for pupils as young as four, in a scheme funded with a £35,000 grant from an education quango, the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

The initiative will be officially launched next month at the start of “LGBT History Month” – an initiative to encourage teaching about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual issues.

The lesson plans, spread across the curriculum, will be offered to all schools, which can choose whether or not to make use of them.

But critics last night called the initiative a poor use of public money which could distract from the teaching of “core” subjects.

Among the suggestions are:

  • Maths – teaching statistics through census findings about the number of homosexuals in the population, and using gay characters in scenarios for maths problems;
  • Design and technology – encouraging pupils to make symbols linked to the gay rights movement;
  • Science – studying animal species where the male takes a leading role in raising young, such as emperor penguins and sea horses, and staging class discussions on different family structures, including same-sex parents;
  • Geography – examining the transformation of San Francisco’s Castro district in the 1960s from a working-class Irish area to the world’s first “gay neighbourhood”, and considering why homosexuals move from the countryside to cities;
  • Languages – using gay characters in role play scenarios, and teaching “LGBT vocabulary”.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Gay Couple Weds As Flight Veers Over Canadian Airspace

Some couples dream of lavish white weddings in a chapel. Some think of a small ceremony on the beach. Others think of interesting ways just to make their marriage legal. From The Raw Story:

Same-sex marriages are not legal in most US states, so some gay couples are finding creative ways to tie the knot.

Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, announced Thursday that he had witnessed a gay couple get married on a redeye flight from San Francisco to New York as it briefly crossed into Canadian airpace.

“There was a wedding on my @VirginAmerica flight to New York! The captain flew briefly over Canadian airspace so two gentleman could marry,” Mullenweg tweeted.

[Continues at The Raw Story]… Read the rest

Continue Reading

13 Chained Themselves To White House Gate In Gay Rights Protest

From AFP via Yahoo:

Gay rights activists briefly handcuffed themselves to the White House’s north gate on Monday, urging President Barack Obama to repeal a ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military.

Thirteen demonstrators organized by the GetEQUAL campaign for gay rights — including nine veterans, a Catholic priest and other advocates &mdash were arrested after shouting they were “proud to serve” and vowing: “We will not disappear.”

“Today, we have sent a loud and clear message to the US Senate and President Obama that we expect them to make good on their promises to end this inhumane law this year, during the lame-duck session of Congress,” GetEQUAL co-founder and director Robin McGehee said in a statement.

She was among those arrested.

The protest came ahead of the Pentagon’s Internal Review into the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, due on December 1.

According to The Washington Post, the long-awaited report, which included a survey of troops, found that the United States could lift the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces with little risk to current war efforts.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Gay “Kiss-In” Protest Greets Pope In Spain

220px-GayFest_Bucharest_2005_2Welcome Pope Benedict XVI! From The New York Daily News:

A crowd of about 200 gay men and women in Barcelona staged a massive make-out session in front of the Pope Sunday as he was driven through town in the bullet-proof Popemobile on his way to celebrate mass at one of the city’s basilicas.

The monster spit-swap was organized by a Facebook group called Queer Kissing Flashmob, which sought to protest Pope Benedict XVI‘s visit to Spain and the Catholic church’s policies about homosexuals.

“We are here for a peaceful protest,” Eduardo Prado, one of the men who participated in the so-called kiss-in, told The Irish Times.  “The church oppresses us and doesn’t respect us…We can’t tolerate this sort of Pope in the 21st century.”

The kissing protesters were a small segment of the estimated 250,000 Spaniards who lined the streets along Benedict’s motorcade route, but they were joined by others who were unhappy with the 83-year-old pontiff’s visit, his second to Spain since 2006.

Read the rest

Continue Reading